CLASSIC - Pisa & Beyond

Experience a truly authentic human connection!

THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA: A MUST SEE IN TUSCANY

Skip the line and climb the Leaning Tower with your Personal Tour Guide!

Martina will give you a sightseeing tour of the ‘square of the Duomo’ (Cathedral, Baptistery, Campo Santo) and will climb the Leaning Tower with you.
She will make the reservation and buy the tickets to the Leaning Tower in advance (they also include the entrance to the Cathedral).


So you will skip the line and get a ‘personal photographer’ who takes photos of you and your beloved ones from the best angles!


Note:
a) Martina will be happy to tailor the tour to the needs of families traveling with kids!
b) Children under 8 years old are not allowed to climb the Leaning Tower for safety reasons

SAN MINIATO 'AL TEDESCO' TOUR

A little gem nestled half a way between Pisa & Florence

Discover ‘the city of 20 miles’ through its inhabitants and travellers’s point of view: from Emperor Frederick II to Michelangelo, Napoleon and ‘sanminiatesi’ people.

Strategically located along the ‘Via Francigena’ (a pilgrims road that connected northern Europe to Rome during Middle Ages) and streching out along a hilltop, San Miniato is worth a visit: from the Duomo with its unique façade decoration, to the Seminar Square, its renaissance buildings, the ‘Via Angelica’, and the ‘Rocca’ (Tower) of FredericK II, which you might consider to climb to get an amazing view on Tuscany countryside, especially at sunset.

Martina will be happy to involve you in an historical walk through the town where  Napoleon’s family was rooted and Pope Clemens VII commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistin Chapel!

BEST OF LUCCA WALKING TOUR

Discover Tuscany's most charming walled city
If you seek a charming and relaxing destination in Tuscany, at a time full of history and cosy spots, this is the perfect tour for you!

Surrounded by its tree-lined Renaissance walls, the charming city of Lucca defenitely deserves a visit. With a deep-rooted music tradition and a labyrinth of narrow alleys and lanes which led you to beautiful squares and hidden treasures: beautiful medieval and renaissance buildings, two medieval towers – one of which, the Guinigi Tower, outstands with its roof top garden – every single architectural and urban details talk to you of a great past and four hundred years of indipendence, to the point that ‘Libertas’ it is still the locals’ ‘motto’. Of its one hundred churches -you do not have to visit all of them! – the Cathedral of St. Martin (with its amazing facade decoration, the intriguing ‘Volto Santo’ and the stunning marble monument of ‘Ilaria del Carretto), the church of St. Michael in foro and Church of San Frediano stand out. Last but not least, the ‘Piazza Anfiteatro’ or Market Suqare, its an amazing example of urban redevelopment: what was a quite big Roman Amphitheather, in 1830s was turned into a unique gathering place for the locals.
 
A truly delightful stroll!

GALILEO AND PISA

An historical tour following in the footsteps of the great scientist, Galileo Galilei: a must for science lovers!

Take a walk back to XVI-XVII century Pisa, when the city was ruled by Florence’s powerful Medici Family.
Guided by your expert local guide, Martina, you will follow a chronological itinerary, in the footsteps of the great scientist Galileo Galilei, known as ‘the painter’ of the sky.

The tour will follow from Galileo’s mother’s family home where he was believed to have been born, to the refined home located in the merchants’ ‘chiasso’, where Galileo lived with his father Vincenzo until 1674. You will then walk  to the area of the ‘studio Pisano’ where Galileo attended university and where, in 1590, began his teaching career.

Also included is a glimpse of the Royal Palace, on the right bank of the Arno River, ending up in the unique ‘Piazza del Duomo’.

Finally, you will visit the Duomo, the Campo Santo and will be able to ascend the Leaning Tower with Martina, who will be happy to discuss interesting historical facts with you!

You will sense the atmosphere of both the everyday life and the academic life during Galileo’s time, as well as learning about the people who either supported or conspired against him, when he conducted experiments and consequently, made revolutionary discoveries…

Notes:
1) Martina will be happy to buy ticekts in advance to skip the queues to the Duomo+ Campo Santo and Leaning Tower

2) It is possible for the tour to finish at the Museum of Calculation Tools, on request

ANIMAL HUNT IN LUCCA

A fantastic experience for animal stories and legend lovers!

Join Martina in this fun walk through the historic centre of Lucca, on the quest for animals.

She will provide you with a map and some clues in order to find as many real and imaginary animols as you can. Whenever you find one, you will be awared points and Martina will tell you its story about it and its relevance to the site.

At the end, you will win a prize!

ENIGMA & SYMBOLS OF LUCCA

Play a game with Martina, discover Lucca’s symbols and solve mystery riddles…
It sometimes seems very difficult to decipher the language of medieval art and inscriptions, which might intentionally be cryptic and mysterious, although easy to understand in the times in which they were created! Enjoy this intriguing walk with Martina through the historic centre of Lucca, trying to solve some riddles and discovering the symbols of an ancient city which, for 300 years, was an independent and powerful Republic. Duration 2.5 hours; suitable for adults and teenagers keen on history

THE BASILICA OF SAN PIERO A GRADO: A JOURNEY BETWEEN HISTORY AND LEGEND

Discover the oldest Christian Church in Europe, with its two apses and amazing medieval frescoes decoration.
The beautiful Romanesque Basilica (XI sec.) of San Piero a Grado outstands in the alluvinal plane of the Arno river: it is located  just off the historic centre of Pisa, in the same area where archeologists and historians state there was the safe ancient port of Pisa. The basilica was built in the place where, according to tradition, Saint Peter landed on the way back from Siria in 44 A.D. The partially Gothic interior includes amazing medieval frescoes and an archaeological site with remains of the column-altar of the first Apostle and a Roman warehouse. Note: The visit might end at the Icecream shop located just in front of the Basilica or at the ‘trattoria’ next door, where you can have a typical Tuscan lunch/dinner. Recommended to visit on the first two weekends of July, when the ‘Sagra del Pinolo’ (Festival of Pine kernels) takes place in the garden next to the Basilica. On this occasion, there you find food stands and entertainments both for adults and children. Duration: 1,5 h

VOLTERRA: THE CITY OF ETRUSCANS AND ALABASTER

An indept walking tour through three thousand years of history

Like a golden pearl in shell, the fascinating walled town of Volterra outstands on a sea of rolling green hills, in the heart of Tuscany countryside.
Majestically located on the ridge of a plyocene hill, it offers a fantastic view on the Era and Cecina valleys, down to the Ocean which is twenty-five miles far away.
Between the oldest Tuscan cities, it is the only one bearing witness to three thousand years of history. It was inhabited since at least 1.000 BC and developped as a powerful commercial city state named ‘Velhatri’ thanks to Etruscan people.
Parts of the Etruscan cyclopic walls, including the most preserve military arch gate, ‘Porta all’Arco’, together with amazing remains kept in the local Etruscan Museum Guarnacci – one for all, the enigmatic bronze statuette knowned as the ‘Evening Shadow’- are signs of its prosperity and wealth in the past.
As soon as the Romans were able to conquer Velhatri with much effort, they changed the name into ‘Volaterre’, built a theatre and thermal baths, which are still very well preserved. However, it is the medievl atmosphere to preval, together with the golden yellow colour of the tuff stone which was used for the constructions: disclosing you a labyrinth of narrow alleys and widing lanes sided by tower houses and beautiful Renaissance buildings, bringing you to the heart of the town, that is ‘Piazza dei Priori’ and Piazza San Giovanni with the Cathedral and the Baptistery, respectively the political and religious centre of Volterra; as well as to the top of the hill where you find the acropolis) and the Rocca Medicea, a fortress built by Florentine people soon after they conquered the city in 1472.
Last but not least, Volterra is worth a visit also for its exclusive ‘botteghe di alabastro’, alabaster workshops, where master artisan transform a raw material into beautiful works of art. By the second half of Eighteenth century, thanks to some far-sighted local ‘travelers’, the ‘stone of light’ became an important source of income to Volterra. Recently only a few native artists keep on with this very ancient tradition and  you will have the opportunity to visit our favorite studios in town!

JEWISH PISA TOUR

Join Martina in this evocative walk through Pisa’s Jewish heritage and visit a hidden treasure of the city, that is the Jewish cemetery!

As a city port, Pisa was probably the first place in Tuscany where Jewish families setttled as early as in the 9th century.  Besides, there they were not confined to a specific neighbourhood of the city, ‘the ghetto’.

The Jewish community lived and prospered in this town, enriching it with their culture, traditions and buildings until World War II.

Although at present only 200 Jewish people lives in Pisa, the restored nineteeth century Synagogue* and the fascinating Jewish cemetery** attest the presence of a large community in the past.

The historical city walk will hit some of the most famous sights in the very center of the city, among them Piazza del Duomo, Piazza dei Cavalieri and Piazza delle Vettovaglie.

Martina will capture your attention on aspects of particular interest and bring you to specifically Jewish sites.

* It is possible to visit the Synagogue, but only if guided by a member of the local Jewish community. This will incur an additional cost of € 50,00

** It is possible to visit the Synagogue, but only if guided by a member of the local Jewish community. This will incur  the additional cost of  € 3,00 per person

PISA AND THE ARNO RIVER: DISCOVERING THE ENCHANTING LUNGARNI

Discover Siena’s highlights and hidden treasures at your own pace!

A fascinating slow walk/bike ride along the two banks of the Arno river, which have always enchanted travellers, particularly during XVIII and early XIX centuries, the time of the ‘Grand Tour’.

Pointing out interesting Medieval and Renaissance buildings, Martina will tell you fascinating stories and legends about Pisa, its inhabitants and travelers, who stayed there and experienced the city life!

This tour is highly recommended in June, especially on the day of the ”Luminara”, the ‘festival of lights’, which is held to praise Pisa’s Patron Saint, Ranieri.

Every year, June 16th, when the sun sets, it is a moment of magic in Pisa: all the lights along the Arno River are off, and eighty thousand candles are lit to illuminate the palaces which flank the river. It is a spectacular event!

THE LEANING TOWER AND THE ‘FIELD OF MIRACLES’ OF PISA

An in depth walking tour of the most famous square in the world!

Join Martina for a delightful walk around and inside the amazing Leaning Bell Tower, the Cathedral, Baptistery and Campo Santo of Pisa, which outstand on the deep green medow like ‘miracles’ of art and construction engineering.
You will learn the history, anecdotes and legends about a unique and stunning site, which took over trhee hundred and fifty years to be completed (Unesco World Heritage Site since 1987).

Note:
a) Martina will be happy to tailor the tour to the needs of families traveling with kids
b) Children under 8 years old are not allowed to climb the Leaning tower for safety reasons
c) You might decide to skip climbing the Leaning or to not visit other buildings in the square.
You just have to ask Martina!

A DAY TOUR OF PISA

Discovering the most famous Leaning Tower and hidden treasures of Pisa

An in-deph private walking tour of Pisa, including the most famous ‘Square of the Duomo’ – where the Leaning Tower stands out – and the old town center, which bear witness to a very glorious and past (XI-XIV century).

Through the words and eyes of your local Tour Guide Martina, you will will relive/meet up with great events, famous locals and visitors of the past who lived or spent time in Pisa (like Busketo, Kinzica, Leonardo Fibonacci, Galileo Galilei, Goethe, the Shelleys, Lord Byron and Virginia Wolf). Meanwhile you will come across with beautyful squares, narrow alleys and widing lanes which led you to the beautiful Lungarni (the two banks of the Arno river), which have enchanted travellers since XV century.  Of course at some point, some time will be dedicated to a taste of local cousine!
Eventually, all of your senses will be overwhelmed!

It will be a truly Memorable Experience!

 

1) this tour can also start from Pisa Centrale Station
2) this tour can be combined with a ‘TOPIC TOUR’ or a ‘TOUR LAB’ according to your interests
3) If you rather wish a tailor-made itinerary Martina will be happy to create it for you

PISA BEYOND THE LEANING TOWER

Discover Pisa’s other charmes, from hidden gardens and piazzas to cuisine and artisans

Join Martina for a delightful walk/bike ride back in time to Medieval, Renaissance and Modern Pisa. Guided through its old town center by Martina, you will stop at charming squares, go through narrow allesy and reach the beautiful Lungarni (the two banks of the Arno river). You will learn about the development of a strategic and ancient city port; which became the most powerful Maritime Republic on the Medieterranean Sea between XI-XIII century. You will recognize the signs left by the Medici Family domination and experience everyday life of a vibrant university town at the present time.

Note: If you were interested in Martina will be happy to introduce you also to the authentic local cousine and master artisans who are proud to keep on very ancient arts and crafts.

You will live Pisa like a local and experience a true human connection!
 
Note that:
1)   this tour can start from Pisa Centrale Station or Piazza Daniele Manin, by the main arch way to the ‘Field of Miracles’
2)   this tour can be combined together or with a ‘TOPIC TOUR’ or a ‘TOUR LAB’ according to the time at your disposal.
If you rather wish a customized itinerary Martina will be happy to create it for you!

ANIMAL HUNT IN THE ‘FIELD OF MIRACLES’ OF PISA

A fantastic experience for animal stories and legends lovers!

Join Martina in this fun walk, looking for animals in the ‘field of Miracles’ of Pisa.

She will provide you with a map and some clues in order to find as many real and imaginary animals as you can. Whenever you find one, you will get points and Martina will tell you the story about the animal and its relevance to the site.

By the end, you will win a prize!

THE FIELD OF MIRACLES OF PISA: SYMBOLISM OF A JOURNEY

An intriguing discovery of a sophisticated ‘solar clock’, astronomical/esoteric symbols, and a life journey reminder: all on a single site!
Martina takes you through an amazing journey back in time, to the ‘golden age’ of Pisa (XI-XIV century). She shows you interesting architectural details and symbolic decorations which were easy-to.understand messages to medieval people walking around and visiting inside the monuments located in the square. During the tour you will discover that behind the construction and decorating program of St. Mary Cathedral, St. John Baptistery, Pope Alexander’s Hospital, the Campo Santo and the Leaning Tower there it is a refined design! Note: Martina will provide you the tickets to visit the buildings. Walking Tour; 4 hours

EMBROIDERIES OF STONE

Discovering the Pisan Romanesque Style. Perfect for lover of architecture and art!
A fascinating walk back in time, to Medieval Pisa (XII-XIII), when ingenious stonemasons decorated the façade and floor of the Cathedral with precious geometrical inlays, floral and animal decoration, made of different kinds of marble and stones, which refer to islamic influences.
Together with other architectural elements, this constitutes a vivid example of the so called ‘Pisan Romanesque Style’.

While touring, you will recognize the Pisan Romanesque style in some of the most beautiful churches in town.
 It is interesting that the contemporary local artist Delio Gennai was impressed by these ancient decorations. He studied and reinterpreted them with the use of different materials (“Affioramenti” – ”Emergings”), creating beautiful works of art.  The tour ends up with the visit of his house-studio!
 
Walking Tour/ Cycling Tour; Duration: 4 hours – afternoon tour

ENIGMA & SYMBOLS OF PISA

Play a game with Martina, discover Pisa’s symbols and solve mysterious riddles…
It sometimes seems very difficult to decipher the language of medieval art and inscriptions, which might intentionally be crpytic and mysterious, but at the same time, easy to understand during the days in which they were created! Enjoy this intriguing walk with Martina in the ‘field of Miracles’ and through the historic centre of Pisa, trying to solve riddles and discovering the symbols of a city which, from the 11th to the 14th centuries, was the the most powerful Maritime Republic on the Mediterranean and the second most important city of the Medici Grand Duchy. Duration 2.5 hours; suitable for adults and teenagers who are keen on history.

VAL GRAZIOSA TOUR

CALCI, ITS PARISH CHURCH & CHARTERHOUSE WITH THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM AND THE BIGGEST FRESH WATER AQUARIUM OF ITALY
At the foot of Pisan Mountain (Monte Pisano), among olive and chestnut trees of the ‘Val Graziosa’ (‘Pretty Valley’), in a territory that is five hundred million years old, there outstand the parish church of the twelfth century – with its monolithic baptismal font – and the Carthusian monastery, founded in 1366 and active until 1972.
The west wing of the Charterhouse hosts the Museum of Natural History and Territory of the University of Pisa:  a fascinating place, full of interesting, precious and rare finds, including meteorites, whale and  dinosaur skeletons! Besides, there you also  find the biggest fresh water aquarium of Italy.
Do not hesitate to contact Martina and ask for a personalized itinerary!
 

LEARN THE HISTORY AND DRAW YOUR OWN LEANING TOWER OF PISA – FOR CHILDREN

Create your own souvenir of one of the world’s most intriguing wonders!

Martina will recommend one of the best positions at which to view the Leaning Tower of Pisa. She will give you details of the history behind its construction and the decades of restoration work (1990-2001). She will then provide you with paper, pencil, ruler, eraser and crayons. You will be able to sit down enjoy a 60 minute drawing lab.

Meanwhile, Martina will provide you some tips to make it easy! 

ANCIENT PISA AND THE MUSEUM OF ROMAN SHIPS

A treasure hunt: perfect for Roman history buffs!

Join Martina in this exciting and fascinating treasure hunt, seeking ‘Roman ships’ in the Square of the Duomo of Pisa, while learning interesting details about the history of shipbuilding and sailing in Roman times.
You will then visit the Museum of the Roman Ships, where you will also learn about the story of the ‘sailor and his faithful dog’ and much more!

Note: this tour is suitable for children from the age of 8 years and upwards

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